Series: Towards the Final Unveiling; Being a Love Captive
Sunday 20 May 2018 – Kobus Swart
Eph. 4:11-13 (NASB & KVV); 1 Cor. 12:12; Rom. 8:19-22;(Eccl. 3:15-MSG); Luke 9:23-24; 1 Pet. 4:13; Col. 3:2, 4; John 12:24- MSG; Rom. 6:5; (Col. 2:22-23); Jas. 1:14-15; Eph. 4:23; Rom. 12:2
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints… Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph. 4:11-13). For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). Christ is a many-membered body, and we have to grow up into the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Our focus is not about church structures etc. but rather to equip the saints, to bring the saints to that perfect (corporate) man called CHRIST.
It is not about proclaiming dates for the “rapture” and dates for the end of the world; all these dates come and go and nothing happens. Of course, there must always be a longing for His appearing. When many read the word ‘appearing’ they only see one thing: second coming and the end of the world, but there is something that has to happen first. This glorious appearing must be manifested first in His saints. The anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing or the unveiling or the appearing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19-22). And this means that we have to see the manifestation or the unveiling of the SON in the sons. There is an appearing that has to take place. The word ‘revelation’ means ‘to uncover’ or ‘to unveil’ what is. Revelation is not a future term. Many of the things we pray for are already given and are already ours but we are too blind to see it. That is why we need a revelation, an uncovering, an unveiling of what is. Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That’s how it always is with God (Eccl. 3:15-MSG).
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). There is a cross that each Christian must take up in order to follow Him. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it (Luke 9:24). We must identify and be partakers of His sufferings. Keep on rejoicing when you share in His sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (Col. 3:4). The ‘will be’ is not in the original language. We must grow up together into that perfect man, the full stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
If we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly be in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5). It is a matter of dying in order to gain life. We sometimes forget that we were crucified with him and were raised with him. Do not separate or isolate yourself from the reality of this truth.
Remember the story of the dog on a leash. When we were born again the ‘leash’ was taken off, we are not living according to law anymore. We are captives of love. In our early walk, we tried to run on His highway, we were still dominated by a legal spirit (Col. 2:22-23). Then we discovered there are no chains in this new walk as mature sons; we are not on a ‘leash’ anymore.
Many people confuse the brain with the mind. The brain is in your head, it is matter. Your mind consists of thoughts. Your mind is where things start going wrong. Sin starts in the mind. If you cannot train your mind, it will be like a wild dog on the run and before you know it you will commit something wrong. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1:14-15). That is why the Bible says you should set your mind on things above, which means above this world with all its temptations (Col. 3:2). Our minds must be renewed (Eph. 4:23; Rom. 12:2). Train your mind to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That is why it is a good thing to fill yourself with worship. Come back to God’s side, convinced that your self-will, your efforts and adventures have never realized anything for God, only for yourself. Make a deliberate choice to be led by the Spirit of God. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). That means mature children of God. Watch out for self-will.
In order for us to become what God wants us to become; to become part of this perfect Man called the Christ in the earth, the Body of Christ, we have to learn to live under a new government. You can be set free only to enjoy the freedom with the message of grace, but that is not real freedom. You have a choice of three levels of life – you can stay under bondage or you can become free not knowing how to handle your freedom, or you can choose to become a love slave, a love-captive because you love your master who paid the price for you. Serve God because you love Him not because you are scared of Him or of judgement. When Christ who is our life is revealed, we will be revealed with Him because we are part of His family. Our goal should be to live under a new government; be led by the Spirit of God and not led by our whims and wishes. The highest level of freedom is to be a love captive.